The Pass. The Judgement day of plates.

The Pass. The Judgement day of plates.
Bring the finished plates up to the pass for inspection.

Friday, August 6, 2010

One word. " Souffles "

Most people when they hear the word “Soufflé ", their faces brighten, their eyes widen and they ask, "WHERE?" Soufflé is a well known dessert in the French culinary world. The word itself is French and it refers to a light, fluffy and puffed up dish usually made with beaten eggs. Soufflés, although widely known to be a sweeten dessert, it can however, be savoury. (Savoury soufflés are usually made with a béchamel sauce).

One thing for sure, soufflés are meant to be soft and fluffy. It is almost as light as bubbles that soften in your mouth. This is what's highly regarded for in a perfect soufflé dish, and also what it's best known for.

(Everything is precisely measured, re-measured and labelled to insure there are no mistakes)

Believe it or not, there is more than 1 way of making a mouth watering soufflé, and each one will provide you with a different texture that serves a different purpose. There are methods that will give you a soufflé with a texture that is worthy of a competition, and other methods that will guarantee you the stability to serve in a restaurant.

I, being the fortunate one, had the opportunity to be taught a 4th method of making a soufflé by a world pastry champion, Chef En-Ming. Chef En-Ming was the Team Captain of the United States Pastry Team that won the Gold Medal at the World Pastry Cup in Lyon, France in 2001. She later returned to serve as the President of International Jury for the World Pastry Cup in 2003, 2005 and 2007, which she was also the manager for Team USA. She continued to manage TEAM USA until last year, 2009.

One key point about making soufflés is actually in the process of preparing your soufflé molds. You must butter your molds with the right and even amount of butter, preferably with a upward stroke of the brush. This will help the rise of the soufflé when being baked in the oven. Although, some say this upward stroke method is a myth, but I, for one, am not curious enough to risk a failure in my delicious soufflé. So for me it is always upward strokes! Better safe than Sorry, right?

And another key point that is largely overlooked in the world of pastries is sifting your flour! This little extra step sifting out all the lumps in your flour that has formed due to excess moisture in the environment will really help with incorporating your mixture evenly. No one wants to be surprised by the taste of a lump of uncooked flour in any dessert, I promise you that. And it is also this simple step of sifting your ingredients, like flour, icing sugar and etc, will separate you from the amateurs to the professionals. The boys and the men.

 And lastly, having some confidence in yourself and in your soufflé will also help with the outcome. Because once you put that soufflé into the oven, it is completely out of your hands and you must surrender all control of the outcome. You can only lean over and watch patiently through the little glass window of your oven, and pray for that soufflé to rise even higher, and higher.

And the moment of truth when you take your soufflé out of the oven, there could be either one of two moments and both of which are to the extreme. One, your soufflé will collapse immediately because... a) You have over baked the soufflé or b) it is under cooked, and in which you might cry and cry some more, then you start all over again. OR... You take out your soufflé and it is still standing high, all puffed up and looking delicious, then you start it all over again. Because it was so good.


  1. This is amazing! I really like to come here every time to learn something new from you. Thank you :)

  2. I haven't attempted a souffle in a long time. This makes me want to give it a try again with all the tips you offered! It sounds like you are having a terrific experience learning the world of pastry chefs. I'm impressed!

  3. Look at that! Your souffles look so tall and beautiful. I haven't bake any souffle yet, will take note on the important tips. Thanks for sharing with us.

  4. That looks amazing..... have to make that for me one day

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